The Greatest Thing

by Roby Ellis          SPANISH/ESPAÑOL


A. After dealing one-by-one with the problems in Corinth, Paul offers the solution to every problem: love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

B. Paul contrasts love with other great things, and, after analyzing it thoroughly, he concludes that love excels them all.

I. Paul first contrasts love with other great things (vss. 1-3).

A. He contrasts it with miraculous gifts (vs. 1-2a).

B. He contrasts it with faith (vs. 2b).

C. He contrasts it with charity (vs. 3a).

D. He contrasts it with sacrifice (vs. 3b).

II. Paul then makes an analysis of this supreme thing (vss. 4-7).

A. Like light, love is a compound thing.

B. The “spectrum of love” has nine ingredients: (1) patience, (2) kindness, (3) generosity, (4) humility, (5) courtesy, (6) unselfishness, (7) good temper, (8) guilelessness, and (9) sincerity.

C. Love is, however, even more than the sum of its ingredients.

III. Paul defends the conclusion that love is supreme (vss. 8-13).

A. His chief reason for singling out love as the greatest thing is simply that love lasts (vs. 8).

B. Throughout his inspired writings, the apostle John links love with eternal life (John 3:16; 1 John 3:14; 4:8-9).


A. When the Judge divides the sheep from the goats, the test of all men will be how they have loved (Matthew 25:31-46).

B. “[E]veryone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

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